The Minnesota Supreme Court Feb. 27 upheld a life prison sentence that Andrew Hawes is currently serving for being involved in the 2008 murder of his brother Edwin Hawes in Andover.
Andrew Hawes, now 40, and Elizabeth Hawes, now 48, are both serving life sentences without the possibility of parole for the murder of their 46-year-old brother Edwin Hawes at his Andover home. They were convicted in 2010.
According to evidence from the jury trial, Edwin was ambushed Oct. 29, 2008 when he arrived at the Andover home where he was staying. He was shot with a crossbow, bludgeoned over the head and run over by the Volkswagen Passat that his siblings had come to repossess.
There was bad blood between the siblings because they believed Edwin had embezzled money from the family lawn care business and they wanted to repossess the Volkswagen Passat that Edwin was driving because it was a company vehicle.
In his appeal of his sentence to the Minnesota Supreme Court, Andrew Hawes argued that his legal representation was ineffective because there was no objection to the prosecution wanting to admit certain out-of-court statements during the jury trial.
Andrew objected to the testimony of a Minneapolis police officer who testified that he responded to a disturbance call in which Edwin informed him that his brother had rear ended his vehicle, which eventually spun it around so he could see it was Andrew. Edwin’s young daughter was a passenger in his car and he worried that Andrew was going to hurt him.
Writing the unanimous opinion, Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page stated that during a cross-examination Andrew admitted to rear-ending Edwin’s vehicle, so not including the Minneapolis police officer’s testimony in the trial would have not made a difference.
Andrew claimed that his brother-in-law shot Edwin with the crossbow. According to Page, the effectiveness of Andrew’s lawyer or the inclusion of the out-of-court statements did not factor into his conviction of premeditated aiding and abetting murder in the first degree because of the overwhelming amount of evidence against him.
The Anoka County District Court jury heard evidence that Andrew bought and distributed disposable cell phones to be used during the “repossession” of the Passat, and brought the weapons to the scene, Page wrote in his opinion. Latex gloves with black spray paint on them were found at his home, which was key evidence because a bat and crossbow and arrows that authorities recovered had been spray painted black, he wrote.
Furthermore, according to Page, Andrew’s actions after Edwin was killed showed the murder was premeditated because Andrew testified that he got into the driver’s seat of the Passat while Edwin was being attacked and said his brother-in-law asked him to help him put Edwin’s body inside the trunk.
Andrew testified that he refused and started backing up the Passat. He said he felt a few thumps and later realized he ran over Edwin’s body. He left the crime scene without attempting to aid Edwin, Page wrote in the opinion.
Edwin’s remains were later found to be burning in a fire pit on the Hawes’ farm near Westbrook.
Elizabeth testified in 2011 that she had nothing to do with Edwin’s murder, but the Minnesota Supreme Court upheld the sentence.
Eric Hagen is at firstname.lastname@example.org